Engineers Richard McAllan and Frederick Robinson manage to get financial backing for a gigantic project to build a tunnel from England to America. His biggest supporter is Varlia Lloyd, daughter of one of the backers, and she uses her influence more than once to keep the project going. Mack's wife Ruth is also supportive, although his constantly being away on the tunnel project strains their marriage, and affects his relationship with their son. After years of financial skulduggery and physical obstacles under the ocean floor, the tunnel proceeds as Mack's marriage and his friendship with Robbie deteriorate. Written by
Ron Kerrigan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
At the end of the opening credits, a card comes up with "Gaumont-British Picture Corpn. Ltd. were fortunate in securing the services of Mr. George Arliss and Mr. Walter Huston for the parts of Prime Minister of Great Britain and President of the United States." See more »
A very interesting and well done film technically, but its human interest angle is poor.
THE TRANSATLANTIC TUNNEL is a sci-fi film set in the near future. The story is about a joint American-British effort to build this tunnel. Additionally, the toll this takes on the men (in particular the chief engineer) and the behind the scenes machinations are explored.
This is a really neat sci-fi movie in many ways. While the idea of a transatlantic tunnel is ridiculously far-fetched, the special effects for this British film are amazingly realistic and well executed. It's really too bad, then, that the soap opera built around it is poor. However, because the film is so astounding to look at, it's still well worth a look.
The British film makers enlisted Richard Dix for the lead in this film. He was a big name for the time and he would presumably bring American audiences to see this film. Whether or not this worked, I have no idea, but although I like Dix in other films, here he isn't particularly distinguished. This would be more obvious had it not been that many of the British cast were pretty dreadful. And, because the dialog was so poor, it only made this seem worse.
As I said, this is all pretty sad, as the special effects were great. Seeing giant television sets, videophones, cool futuristic cars and the tunnel itself were all absolutely amazing. In fact, it's one of the best sci-fi films of the time and this aspect of the film alone merit a 9 or 10--not bad for a relatively low budget film.
Overall, it's a great curio that you can enjoy provided you can wade through the soapy story.
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